The Wisdom of the Ancients

Excerpts from The Sacred Tree
by the Four Worlds Center
from the Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics

* Each morning upon rising and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you, and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

* Respect. Respect means “To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or something with deference or courtesy”. Showing respect is a basic law of life.

* Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest Elder with respect at all times. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

* Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

* Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

* Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

* Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people.

* Be truthful at all times and under all conditions.

* Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

* The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

* Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

* All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

* Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.

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